If President Trump follows through on his promises, the Affordable Care Act could disappear in 2017.
For some, this will be a welcomed change. Between soaring premiums and high deductibles, many believe that “Obamacare” is deeply flawed.
For others, however, Obamacare has been a godsend.
Under the program, 22 million Americans are newly insured—and for them, the idea that it might go away is terrifying.
Trump says Obamacare won’t be repealed until the government has a viable replacement, a health plan many are already calling “Trumpcare.”
I believe that “Trumpcare” could become one of the defining issues of his presidency...
And if you know what to keep an eye on, it could put some profits in your pocket.
Decreasing Costs of Healthcare
Here’s the main problem with U.S. health insurance and healthcare:
Everything is too damned expensive!
From visits to your primary care doctor to blood tests, U.S. healthcare costs multiples of what it costs elsewhere in the world.
We could argue about the reasons for this for days, but the important thing to remember is this:
When healthcare costs rise, so do insurance premiums and deductibles.
So it stands to reason that if we can decrease the cost of U.S. healthcare, then we can decrease the cost of insurance, and in turn, make insurance more affordable.
Trump may propose an alternative that’s theoretically “better” than Obamacare, but we won’t see real change in the system until we focus on the underlying challenge:
Decreasing the cost of care.
Technology to the Rescue?
Over the past 20 years, prices have come down in a number of industries, from music to electronics.
And what’s the primary reason for this?
As technology has become more powerful, it’s enabled new services to crop up.
These services provide a better experience for customers, and they tend to cost far less than their predecessors.
For example, in the past, if you wanted to get access to a new single from your favorite band, you’d have to spend $15 and buy the whole album. Today you can buy individual tracks for 99 cents, or you can just stream it on Spotify as part of your monthly subscription.
The same holds true for physical products.
I bought my first computer in the late 90s, a Pentium 486. It cost me $2,000. Today, for just a few hundred bucks, I could buy a machine that’s 20x more powerful.
So why isn’t the same thing happening in healthcare?
Well, there are a few culprits, the cost of prescription drugs for example.
But there’s another major factor that’s impacting costs...
And thankfully, it’s an issue that technology—combined with a little bit of regulation—could easily solve. Let me explain:
A few years back I was suffering from terrible migraines. It got so bad that I had to spend a whole day with the blinds drawn and an ice pack on my head.
I went to see several doctors, and had tests run at multiple labs and MRI facilities.
Thankfully, the migraines stopped on their own, but here’s the thing…
When I went from one hospital to the next, the same thing would always happen:
The doctor would run redundant tests, thereby wasting time, resources and my money.
Meanwhile, most of the data they needed was locked away and owned by a single company: Epic Systems.
Epic is a privately held billion-dollar medical records company, and it refuses to share its data—your data—with any other system.
That rubs me the wrong way. If a test is run on my blood, or a scan is taken of my brain, that data belongs to me.
Unfortunately, both Epic and the U.S. government don’t look at it that way.
But here’s why they should...
Big Data Could Solve Big Problems
Having ownership and control of our medical records would not only help reduce costs, but it would drastically improve medical care as well.
For starters, we wouldn’t waste time and money with redundant tests.
That alone could save consumers and insurance companies a great deal of money.
But by having all our records stored digitally, we could upload and share them with doctors, hospitals, and most importantly, specialized software applications.
For example, as The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month, data from electronic patient records could help with “predicting heart failure by looking at massive amounts of MRI scans, diagnosing diabetic retinopathy from eye imaging, and successfully predicting seizures with a machine analyzing electroencephalogram data.”
Not only would an early diagnosis lower treatment costs, but it would help improve patient outcomes as well.
Which is why I hope Trump’s new anti-establishment agenda includes forcing medical records companies to open up their patient data.
I believe this could lead to a reduction in healthcare costs, increase the quality of patient care, and lead to an explosion in innovation for healthcare start-ups.
And this innovation could lead to tremendous profit opportunities for investors like you and me.
In fact, I recently identified a healthcare start-up that’s already on the front lines of innovation around data.
This company is employing a unique method to leverage patient medical data to help with accurate and early diagnosis of rare diseases.
And the best part is, anyone can invest in this company.
The company is called CrowdMed.
The company’s goal is to leverage the “wisdom of the crowds.” Instead of relying on one doctor to diagnose an illness, patients share their medical history with thousands of “medical detectives” on CrowdMed’s system.
These detectives, all of whom have been vetted by CrowdMed, then work together to help diagnose a patient’s illness.
According to CrowdMed:
“One-third of US families have suffered from a medical issue that remains undiagnosed after consulting 2 or more physicians. But our patients can submit their case to thousands of vetted medical detectives who collaborate to resolve it. Studies show we're more reliable, cheaper, and faster than the traditional medical system alone."
CrowdMed is a great example of how we can use technology and data to cost-effectively provide patients with high-quality healthcare.
If you’d like to learn more about CrowdMed, including how to invest, click here now »
Please note: Crowdability has no relationship with CrowdMed. Crowdability is an independent provider of education, information and research on start-ups and alternative investments.